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Trendsetter & Influencer
8 October, 2017

Trendsetter & Influencer

The picture was taken in July 1880 while the Sherlock Holmes author was serving on the Arctic whaler The Hope, several years before his detective stories catapulted him to international fame. 
The young Conan Doyle had taken time out from his medical studies at Edinburgh University to spend six months travelling on The Hope around Siberia as the ship's surgeon.
He later wrote that the voyage had had a major impact on him, and used the experience in his ghost story Captain of the Pole-Star and two non-fiction articles, The Glamour of the Arctic and Life on a Greenland Whaler.
During the journey, The Hope came across the Eira, the ill-fated yacht of explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith, which sank on a subsequent voyage after being crushed by two icebergs. 
Dr Neale, with his pipe and deerstalker-esque cap, was the Eira's surgeon. The remarkable image has come to light as Russian divers announced this week they believe they have discovered the wreck of the Eira.
It was not until 1886 that Conan Doyle began writing his first Holmes tale, going on to write 56 short stories and four novels.
In them, he described his main character Holmes as wearing both an 'ear-flapped travelling cap' and a 'close-fitting cloth cap'. Holmes was also reported to smoke both clay and briar pipes.
While Conan Doyle never specifically referred to Holmes's hat as a deerstalker, the original illustrations by Sidney Paget that accompanied his stories in The Strand magazine, including The Hound of the Baskervilles, depicted Holmes in his now iconic headwear.
This is unsurprising considering the deerstalker was the most typical countrywear of the period matching both descriptions.
The Daily Mail

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24 May, 2019

The fascinating letter by Sherlock author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which remains in Edinburgh to this day

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